I want to thank the Daily Item for publishing the story of the woman who went to an alternative treatment for her breast cancer (Oct. 1).

As Dr. Andrew Weil pointed out in his book, Spontaneous Healing, “Radiation and chemotherapy are crude treatments that will be obsolete before long.

Both work by killing dividing cells; the assumption made by doctors who use them is that cancerous cells divide faster than normal ones.

Unfortunately, that is true only for a small percentage of cancers, principally childhood cancers, leukemias, lymphomas, testicular cancer, and a few others. In most cases, cells of cancers have lower division rates than the most active normal tissues of the body: the skin, the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, the bone marrow, and other immune structures.”

I referred to Dr. Weil’s books when a close relative was diagnosed with lymphoma of the thyroid. Her thyroid was removed but her oncologist wanted her to follow up with chemotherapy for errant cancer cells. She refused the chemo but wanted to replace it with something else. I told her one thing several cases of cancer remission had in common was that people had chosen to go on a macrobiotic diet. She did that plus took maitake mushroom supplements. Within 6 months, her blood work was normal. She is still cancer-free 17 years later and still eats mostly macrobiotic foods.

Dr. Weil admits that both conventional and alternative treatments for cancer aren’t totally satisfactory. However, there appears to be a strong mind/body component to treatments that shouldn’t be overlooked. Patients who actively participate in choosing the treatment that works best for them seem to have more success at improving their health.

Rolanda Ritzman,

New Berlin

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